Of Virginia Press: A Slight Change In Name Signals A Significant
Confirmation Of Institutional Support
April 24, 2002-- Beginning
next month with its Fall catalogue, the book publisher founded at
the University of Virginia in 1963 will have a new name: the University
of Virginia Press. Previously the University Press of Virginia,
the publishing house will make the adjustment to reflect more accurately
its close relationship to its host institution, said U.Va. President
John T. Casteen III.
a time when some presses have dwindling support, we want to signal
our strong commitment to bringing the highest quality scholarship
to light, whether through print or new digital media," Casteen said.
"The Press always has been a leader in publishing important works
about the history and politics of the United States, about literature
and other humanities fields, and about the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Of course, all these long-standing interests will continue."
expect this to be a win-win relationship," said Penelope Kaiserlian,
the Presss director. "The Press gains support in its ambitions
to become better known nationally, and the University formally acquires
an established book program. U.Va. will benefit whenever a book
carrying its imprint is reviewed in a prominent newspaper or journal
or the author is quoted in the media. Our publishing program will
benefit from the continued service of senior faculty as series editors
and board members and from the strengthening of our list in areas
where the University has a great reputation, such as architecture
and early American history."
name will also be on the Presss new electronic imprint when
it publishes its first works next year, Kaiserlian said. The e-publishing
program, supported by a $635,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation and a matching amount from U.Va., will be the first devoted
exclusively to publishing original, peer-reviewed digital scholarship
in the humanities.
Virginia Press, which currently publishes 50 to 60 new titles annually
by authors from around the world, received its first funding from
the General Assembly. As the Press grew, it became largely self-supporting
from sales income and endowment funds but also receives direct and
indirect support from U.Va. in funds and space. The Press began
operations in the most prized space of all -- Thomas Jeffersons
Rotunda -- then moved to a University building named in honor of
Samuel M. Bemiss of the Virginia Historical Society, one of the
Presss editorial program features special concentrations in
American history, African American studies, Southern studies, literature,
ecocriticism and regional books, and it maintains a backlist of
more 1,000 titles in print. Its board of directors, which approves
new titles after a rigorous process of peer review, has always included
several U.Va. faculty and one or more faculty from other Virginia
a historian at William and Mary," said Melvin Ely, board member
and author of The Adventures of Amos 'n' Andy, "I've found
a congenial home-away-from-home at the University Press in Charlottesville.
Under its new name, the Press will remain what it has been for many
years -- an inviting destination for authors from all of Virginia's
colleges and universities and from every part of the nation and
Virginia Press has launched many influential books about the nation's
founding and continues to publish two of the six major documentary
editions of writings by the Founders: the Papers of George Washington
and the Papers of James Madison. The Fall catalog announces three
new volumes in these Papers projects, as well as a new exclusive
distribution arrangement with Mount Vernon for its series, the George
in the Press's Fall catalog also continue the publisher's engagement
with the cultural dilemmas of race, ethnicity and power relations
in the United States, the Caribbean and Africa. These include Race
Man, a biography of John Mitchell Jr., the "fighting editor"
of the black newspaper the Richmond Planet; The Lynching of Emmett
Till: A Documentary Narrative; and The John Brown Legend
Revisited by distinguished historian Merrill Peterson, whose
association with the Press goes back to its earliest days.
Bob Brickhouse, (434) 924-6856 or Mark Saunders, (434) 924-6064